Hornbill Unleashed

November 27, 2013

Baram Dam: Tengah plays with words

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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FMT Staff

Senior Minister Awang Tengah Ali Hassan claims the compensation demanded by the Penans is unreasonable and illogical.

The Sarawak government claims it has “not finalised” the implementation of the Baram project and has urged the communities not to listen to rumours and be unduly worried.

Public Utilities Minister Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said feasibility studies were still underway but no decision have been made. (more…)

November 21, 2013

Penans want Najib, IGP to intervene in Murum

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Vignesh Kumar

The Penans have hit a stalemate on their negotiations with state government and the Murum Dam main contractors Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) over compensation and resettlement issues.

Thirteen members of the Penan tribe in Murum, Sarawak travelled all the way to Bukit Aman today to handover a memorandum to the Inspector General of Police demanding that the police “stop immediately any intimidation and provocation” towards the Penans who have erected bloackades at the Murun dam site (more…)

November 14, 2013

Misery in Murum

Alfian ZM Tahir

  • Displaced Penans say they are thirsty, hungry and have no protection from severe weather.

Three hundred Penan families displaced by the ongoing construction of Murum Dam are living in desperate circumstances as they battle for justice.

They have no access to clean water and decent food, and their tents, constructed from tree branches and tarpaulin, are ineffective against heavy rain. (more…)

Protesting Penans claim police were drunk

William Mangor

A Penan lawyer-cum-activist has called on the IGP and the federal government to intervene in the Murum issue.

MURUM: Penan protestors mounting blockades at the Murum Dam site here claimed policemen who intimidated and harassed them were drunk.

Penan activist cum lawyer Abun Sui Anyit said based on ground reports from the blockade site, the police officers stationed in the area were allegedly being provided alcohol by the dam’s main contractors Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB). (more…)

November 12, 2013

Penans vow to continue blockade until govt agrees to talks

Penan longhouse residents during an earlier protest against Murum dam last month.Chen Shaua Fui

  • Penan longhouse residents during an earlier protest against Murum dam last month.

The arrest of 10 Penans last week at the blockade site near Murum Dam has not deterred them from continuing their fight to stop the inundation of their land before compensation is paid.

They went back to the site upon their release on Sunday.

The state coordinator of Borneo Resources Institute (Brimas) Raymond Abin said that the Penan will continue to stay at the blockade site until the government promises to talk to them on the compensation. (more…)

November 9, 2013

SUARAM condemns Penan Arrests

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 16.07.38Suram

  • PRESS STATEMENT – SUARAM Condemns Crackdown in Murum : Protesters, Including Children, Arrested and Detained

SUARAM condemns ongoing harassment of Penan communities in Murum and Baram. Yesterday (7 November 2013), saw another action from the Royal Malaysian Police which clearly shows the failed role of the police force. Eight Penan who have been blockading against the Murum damsince August were arrested yesterday and brought to the Belaga Police Station. (more…)

October 24, 2013

Villagers stage blockades to stop Baram dam

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 6:40 AM
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One of the blockades staged by villagers on the road to the proposed Baram dam site.

Ng Ai Fern
  • One of the blockades staged by villagers on the road to the proposed Baram dam site.

Villagers from Baram in Sarawak’s interior today staged two blockades to stop contractors from carrying out any initial quarrying work on the proposed Baram dam, one of the 12 hydroelectric dams planned by the state.

The blockades – one on the access road to the proposed dam site and the other near the proposed dam site – were manned by some 200 people from over 20 villages affected by the Baram Hydroelectric Project.

“Tomorrow the villagers will go inside the proposed dam site to chase the Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) staff and contractors away,” Peter Kallang, chairman of the SAVE River civil society coalition, told fz.com. (more…)

Resettlement Chaos – Outrage Grows Over Murum Natives

Sarawak Report

  • Welcoming site? – why the surprise impoundment of the dam before compensation was agreed or even these homes were built?

It has emerged that many of the families forced from their longhouses at Murum have found there is no replacement housing for them after all, in the half-built resettlement areas they have been bundled into by Sarawak Energy.

Visitors last week spoke to families in Tegulang, all of whom had been given supposed vouchers for a home in the new longhouses, but who found there was not enough room.

Such families are being forced to beg space off relatives, with as many as three families now crowding into the same pintu. (more…)

October 10, 2013

State asked to run cost-benefit analysis on dams


A view of the Murum Dam.

The state has been called on to run a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis on the proposal to implement large dam projects.

This is a systematic process for calculating and comparing benefits and costs of a project to determine if it is a sound investment and to provide a basis for comparing projects.

“It involves comparing the total expected cost of each option against the total expected benefits, to see whether the benefits outweigh the costs, and by how much,” explained Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How in a press statement. (more…)

October 7, 2013

Spotlight On Murum……

Sarawak Report

At the weekend Taib Mahmud bemoaned that the recent ‘spotlight of publicity’ on Sarawak has created negative perceptions of his government of the state.

So, clearly he wants no further light shone on the disgraceful treatment of the Penan at the Murum Dam site.

The tribe are still holding out in protest against his authoritarian command to start filling the dam before compensation has been agreed or even the government’s own promises fulfilled.

However, one team of observers has just made the tortuous 9 hour journey to see the beleaguered community, who are maintaining their blockade at the site, despite a heavy and menacing armed police presence and the arrest of one of their leaders last week. (more…)

October 4, 2013

Cops should protect Penans, not arrest them


Human rights NGO Suaram has condemned police action against Penan protesters fighting against the impoundment of the Murum dam, urging the police to instead protect the indigenous people.

Suaram coordinator R Thevarajan said that by arresting a protester and breaking up the blockade the community had put up to halt progress on the dam, the police are siding with the exploiters instead of the rakyat.

“We urge the Royal Malaysian Police to safeguard law and justice and to protect the interests of the Penan people instead of taking the side of the exploiters. (more…)

September 12, 2013

Penans move to new homes

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Native communities affected by the Murum hydroelectric project have begun the shift to their new homes in the resettlement scheme in Tegulang, upstream Bakun

BELAGA: Eighty-nine Penan families from Long Wat who are affected by the impoundment of the Murum hydro electric project (HEP) have been relocated to a new village resettlement scheme in Tegulang.

Tegulang is in upstream Bakun and according to Belaga assemblyman Liwan Lagang the new village’s location was ‘chosen’ by the Penans themselves.

“The site of the new homes was selected by the affected residents during a SEIA (Social and Environmental Impact Assessment) process. (more…)

November 29, 2012

Sarawak gov’t, developers urged to learn Penan ways

Dukau Papau

 Sarawak Land Development Minister James Masing has warned his colleagues in the government and large-scale developers they need a “human touch approach” in dealing with the Penan community as the eyes of the world are watching the government’s moves.

“If we approach big development projects affecting our people in the future in this manner, I am confident that we will be successful and (will be left) with less problems.

“That kind of development approach, with human touch, is the way forward for Sarawak,” Masing (left) said in his winding-up speech on his ministry. (more…)

October 24, 2012

Life’s a chicken coop for Penan with kids in school

Ahmad Fadli KC

For the sake of their children’s education, a group of Penan parents have decided to hang up their hunting tools and set up home in an abandoned chicken coop.

These Penan parents made their heart-wrenching decision to move away from their longhouse in the interior of Murum in the Belaga district of Sarawak’s Kapit division, because there is no primary or secondary school there.

Labang Paneh, 35, said he initially made the daily two-and-a-half hour journey with his children to the school in Kapit dvision’s sub-district of Sungai Asap, but the travel proved to be too much. (more…)

BMF wants Norway to probe SEB chief Sjotveit

FMT Staff

Will the Norwegian authorities investigate its citizen Torstein Sjotveit, the CEO of Sarawak Energy Berhad, for corruption in Sarawak?

An international NGO has brought controversy-ridden Sarawak Energy Berhad chief executive officer Torstein Dale Sjotveit to the attention of the Norway government.

Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund has asked Norway’s National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (ØKOKRIM), if it can investigate Norwegian Sjotveit following a corruption complaint lodged against him by the Penans in Sarawak. (more…)

Don’t arrest Penans, assemblyman warns police

Joseph Tawie

The Penans are peaceful people and if there is any riot, it would be as a result of provocation, says senior lawyer Baru Bian.

Increasing the number of police personnel in Murum Dam where the Penans have been relentlessly mounting blockades to demand that the state government and Sarawak Energy Berhad respect their rights and demands, smells of provocation, according to local lawyer Baru Bian.

Bian, who is also Sarawak’s PKR chief, was concerned with reports that the police will be sending reinforcements to the Murum dam construction site. (more…)

October 20, 2012

International Solidarity Builds Behind The Murum Penan

Sarawak Report

No engagement, just one demand that Hydro-Tasmania pull out of Sarawak!

As the Penan people of Murum enter the fourth week of their blockade against the Murum Dam, local and international NGOs have rallied to their support.

On Friday protestors, surrounded by news reporters, gathered outside Hydro-Tasmania’s impressive tower block headquarters in Hobart to demand that the company cease its lucrative partnership programme with Sarawak Energy.[click for video] (more…)

October 15, 2012

Penan resettlement sites: ‘Why notify only now’?

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 2:47 PM
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Joseph Tawie

A ‘first’ notification on resettlement sites issued by the state government to Penans affected by the Murum dam which is 75% complete has raised more questions.

Save Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers) has ridiculed the first notification of the Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) Report for the proposed resettlement sites and service centre for the Penans affected by the Murum dam project.

The notification was released on Oct 11 by the State Planning Unit (SPU) and involved the Metalun and Tegulang Resettlement sites as well as the Murum service centre. (more…)

October 14, 2012

Murum resettlement land ‘taken’ by plantations

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 1:07 PM
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Whistle-blower website Sarawak Report has claimed that the two areas earmarked for the resettlement of 1,417 natives affected by the Murum hydroelectric dam project had been taken over by palm oil plantations.

“Maps already show that the poor quality lands that have been chosen for the two so-called resettlement zones of Tengulan and Metalun have already been taken over by oil palm plantations,” it said, based on map comparison of the resettlement area published in the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) for the Murum dam project.

According to Sarawak Report, the RAP also revealed that contrary to proper procedures, the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) had only been conducted after the Murum dam project commenced. (more…)

October 13, 2012

TAIB SHOCKER! Leaked plans to resettle Penan surface as blockade continues 12 October 2012

Survival International

The Penan's blockade of the Murum dam road began on 26th September.

The Penan’s blockade of the Murum dam road began on 26th September.

Leaked plans to resettle Malaysia’s Penan have surfaced, as the tribe continues to hold atwo-week blockade on the road leading to the controversial Murum dam.

Anger is growing within the tribe, which says it has been ‘manipulated’ and ‘cheated’ by the Sarawak government as it makes way for the dam.

The Murum Penan say they have been kept in ‘complete darkness’ about the resettlement plans, despite the dam’s construction starting four years ago, and only months remain until their ancestral lands will be entirely flooded. (more…)

October 12, 2012

Feedback on plight of Penans affected by Murum dam sought

Sulok Tawie

Liwan says the two sites were identified by the Penans themselves

The Sarawak State Planning Unit (SPU) is calling on the public and interested parties to submit written comments and suggestions on the Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) Report on the proposed Metalun Resettlement and Tegulang Resettlement sites for the Penans affected by the Murum dam.

SPU is also asking for comments and suggestions on the Murum Service Centre.

The construction of the RM3 billion dam, about 75km upstream from the RM7.5 blllion Bakun dam, has attracted much international attention, especially from non-governmental organisations, as it will displace about 1,500 Penans from eight villages and Kenyahs from another village, in Belaga district. (more…)

October 10, 2012

Sarawak PKR: Unfriendly policies don’t help Murum Penan

Dukau Papau

The problems of Penans affected by construction of the Murum dam will not be resolved as long as state government policies remain unfriendly to them, said Sarawak PKR head Baru Bain.

He said that creating a special ministry to look into the Penans’ problems and demands is of secondary importance.

“You can have a few ministers to look after their problems. But if the ministers are ineffective, there would be no point,” he said.

Bian, a lawyer and the Ba’Kelalan assemblyperson, was commenting on the failure of negotiations between Penan representatives and the state government on pre-conditions for construction of the dam. (more…)

Stop Lying – We Are Still Here!

Sarawak Report

We are still here – the Penan are demanding a proper settlement with signatures.

Penan blockaders, who have brought construction on the Murum Dam to a standstill over the past ten days, have reacted with outrage at the news that their assemblyman, BN’s Liwan Lagang, has been telling the media that a settlement has been reached.

In response they have instead tightened and extended the blockade to another approach road to the dam.

Our reporter in the area has informed us that the blockade is now manned by all the Penan Chiefs from the nine villages due to be affected by the flooding from the dam and they have refuted Lagang’s report of a settlement as a total falsehood: (more…)

IT’S A LIE, Murum Blockade is still on: The Penans are fighting for SURVIVAL – HELP THEM!

Mark BujangIT'S A LIE, Murum Blockade is still on: The Penans are fighting for SURVIVAL - HELP THEM!

The Penans in Murum affected by the Murum Hydro-electric Power (HEP) Dam are still blockading the road leading to the construction site of the dam despite newspaper reports saying otherwise.

Raymond Abin, coordinator for Sarawak Conservation Alliance for Natural Environment (SCANE) confirmed today via telephone that the blockade in Murum is still on and the reports in the newspapers saying that the blockade has been lifted is false.

Raymond said, “Liwan Lagang did indeed tried to negotiate with the Penans to dismantle the blockade, however the Penans were not happy with him as he could not assure them in writing that the government would accede to their demands.” (more…)

Deadlock over state-Penan negotiations

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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FMT Staff

The Penans affected by the Murum Dam project claim that the government had four years ago agreed to a compensation package which they want honoured.

Negotiations between the Sarawak government and the Penan community ended in a deadlock after the latter refused to accept any ‘compromise’ on the compensation package from the state.

Spokesman for the community Isah Abang said the government must keep to its promises especially on the cash compensation. (more…)

October 7, 2012

Penans tighten Murum dam blockade noose

Dukau Papau

The Penans tightened their blockade of the Murum dam construction by cutting off another linkage road to the dam site starting on Thursday, thus paralysing the transportation of building materials worth hundreds of thousands of ringgit.

The new blockade was set up on an old narrow logging road through an oil palm plantation, passable only for four-wheel drive vehicles.

“Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) had been using the road as an alternative route to the dam site for the past three days,” said Raymond Abin (left), National Coordinator of Sarawak Conservation Alliance for Natural Environment (SCANE). (more…)

October 4, 2012

Masing’s statement insulting to Penans, say groups

Dukau Papau

Orang Ulu leaders and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are reacting strongly to the statement made by Land Development Minister James Masing alleging that the Penans are ignorant of the benefits of the Murum dam, resulting in them being unhappy.

Masing had said that there was a need for better communication between the implementers of the project and the people at the grassroots.

“I have made a recommendation to the steering committee to include Culture and Heritage Assistant Minister Liwan Lagang to be part of the team which oversees the implementation of the project. (more…)

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